Title: Matariki: The Māori New Year

Author: Libby Hakaraia

Iwi: Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kapu

Description: This group is an introduction to the star group Matariki. Known in other cultures by names including the Pleiades and the Seven Sisters, Matariki featured strongly in pre-European New Zealand. It marked the beginning of the Māori calendar, and its rising before the sun in late May or early June was greeted with great festivals. It was used as a guide to planting and harvesting, and was studied by tohunga as an omen which told whether the food gathering season would be plentiful or lean.

Libby Hakaraia includes interviews with astronomers Richard Hall and Vicki Hyde, well known navigator Hekenukumai Busby, and Hapimana Rikihana, who still practises the ancient Māori art of mahi whai, or string patterns.

Today more and more people are celebrating the rising of Matariki. For those who wish to join this growing movement, there are suggestions on how to celebrate this Māori New Year – and, most importantly, a guide to finding Matariki in the night sky.

Materials: Paper back, 63 pages

Dimensions: 21.1 x 23 x  0.5 cm


Libby Hakaraia


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